|German Wine Guide||Wine Laws and Classifications||German Wine Dictionary||The Saar||The Ruwer|
The Deliciously Overwhelming Stuttgart Wine Festival
In the heart of a wine growing region in southern Germany is a city that is modern, showy and full of mirth extending its arms to the wine festival with unmistakable enthusiasm every September. Stuttgart being a world famous wine city leaves absolutely no excuse to celebrate the festival in anything other than world class level. For this city always has room for festivities, the celebration turns out to be simply out of this world. Needless to say this festival attracts tourists from all over the world and is consistent with folklore tradition of Swabians. The richly decorated marketplace pours out more than 250 variants of this nectar from about 120 outlets within its span of 12 days.
The viniculture in this region is hundreds of years old. The original purpose of this festival sprang from the need to honour this national drink of the Swabians and do it in style. In 1974, Pro-Stuttart Verkehrsverein, initiated this much enjoyed tradition which since then has been taking place every autumn from the end of August to beginning of September without fail.
It is not just the wine, but the ambience of the city that is all aglow and illuminant that makes this whole experience simply unforgettable and intoxicating. The accompaniments to the wine is just as promising as the rich array of exotic wine combinations and these include sizzling bacon and onion rings and rolls of potato dough.
Stuttgart meets Mumbai
Celebrating 40 years of sisterhood between Mumbai and Stuttgart, a German delegation organized the landmark annual wine festival ‘Stuttgart meets Mumbai’ at a city hotel here recently.
Stuttgart, the state capital of Baden-Württemberg, Germany is surrounded by amazing vineyards that produce prize-winning wines.
Over 5000 bottles of wine is especially flown down from Germany for this event to present the citizens of Mumbai with a true German flavour of love and friendship.
Reiterating this Andreas Lapp stated, “Wine sharing is part of our culture and by bringing home-grown wine we want to foster closer ties between India and Germany. This year’s event is very special for us as the year 2011-2012 is the year of Germany and India heralding 60 momentous years of diplomatic relations.”
Expressing his love and commitment to India, he said, “India has always been very close to Germany for multiple reasons from common Indo-German languages to Bollywood movies and we wish to cement this further by growing the economic relations as well.”
Focused on deepening this existing relationship the wine-fest brought together people from politics, across industries and cultural domains.
The other programme organized at this event were- jewellery workshop on modern German jewellery and design culture, tourism workshops and educational forums, entertainment program; Stuttgart specialities buffet; wine tasting with experts from Stuttgart accompanied by typical Swabian music.
Noting this extraordinary extravaganza of goodwill, Dr. Leopold-Theodor Heldmann, General Consul of Republic of Germany, said: “If India and Germany continue to leverage on each other’s potentials as they currently are, the future will be very promising and may aid the countries in becoming very important economic players.”
Some other socio-cultural activities initiated to further enhance relations between India and Baden-Württemberg is the foundation of the Indian Business Centre Stuttgart at the LAPP Group premises in Stuttgart that provides fully furnished offices, technical infrastructure and expert advice, the centre aims to make it easier for Indian companies to locate in Baden-Württemberg.
Speaking on the occasion, Klaus-Peter Murawski, Deputy Mayor of Stuttgart, said: “Stuttgart and Mumbai have a twin city relationship since 1968. The past 40 years of this relationship have been very successful.”
Besides cooperation on the business, arts and culture front the relationship also extends to social issues.
"We have a long time working relation between the municipal hospitals of Stuttgart and Mumbai. The two cities have also been cooperating on issues related to disaster management,” he added.
Stuttgart Wineries, Germany
Where can you find rolling hilltop wineries, thermal baths, World War Two remains, and the world’s second biggest beer festival, all in the same town?
Hiding under the unassuming guise of a little city in the south of Germany, in the geographical centre of Europe, named Stuttgart.
Known worldwide as the birthplace of Mercedes Benz, the German hub of Stuttgart has a lot more to offer tourists than just auto museums (of which it harbours two of the newest and most prestigious- Mercedes and Porsche).
Wines of Stuttgart
Due to Stuttgart’s remarkable micro-climatic atmosphere, grapevines grow plentifully around the area. Hillside vineyards can be viewed capping the scenery, all the way into the centre of town.
Strolling past the town’s main train station, if you look to the north, atop the hills lie vineyards which produce some of Germany’s esteemed light reds, Trollinger and Lemberger.
If you are in search of an entertaining (and delicious) summer activity in Stuttgart, try to contact some of the city-run vineyards to line yourself up a day of grape-picking.
The pay is generally a picnic lunch, and about as much red wine as you can stomach.
Wine Walking Trail
For a less demanding workout, wander along the Stuttgart wine trail, known as the Stuttgarter Weinwanderweg, which begins from Oberturkheim train station, just a quick ride from the main station. The trail winds alongside the Nekar River through to Uberturkheim, past beautiful vineyards and orchids of the season.
For a yearned drink pause, test out the tavern of the Zaiss winery along the way. Take the trail around autumn, and you’ll stumble upon fresh blackberries, raspberries and pears growing just to the side of the track.
Second only to Budapest as the freshest natural thermal water source in Europe, comes Stuttgart, with an abundance of baths in the area.
Try out the old style Mineral Bad Berg, a heritage baths, from which flows healthy iron-filled water since it first opened in 1856.
Otherwise, Mineral Bad Leutze and Mineralbad Cannstatt are two local favourites.
And if you’re a fan of the German sauna culture, Mineralbad Cannstatt offers a busy, clean multi-sex sauna for where to get your daily steaming- though if you’re not a fan of public nudity, you’d best stick to the heated pools.
Cannstater Volksfest – the World’s Second Biggest Beer Festival
The outskirts of Stuttgart light up each September from the thousands of neons in Cannstatter Volksfest. Second in size only to Oktoberfest in Munich, this annual booze chugging festival is apparently derived from a traditional southern German autumnal harvest fair- though it has evolved into a giant beer guzzling party for tourists and locals alike.
It’s worth taking the U-Bahn to have a gander at Volksfest, even if you don’t drink. Out of sober eyes, you can absorb the spectacle of tottered Germans spilling beer down their lederhosen, as they dance upon tabletops singing to what is known as “Drinking Schlager” music, in one of the many beer tents set up for the occasion. Out of less-sober eyes, you can climb upon a table, and join in yourself.
Waiters and waitresses donning traditional garb whisk around serving one-litre beers and huge plates of local fare including ham hock and bratwurst sausages.
For families visiting the event, there are plenty of sideshow activities to choose from, including rollercoasters, shooting games and watching a boxing match.
World War Two Relics
A fifteen-minute drive from the city centre stands Birkenkopf- a mountain created out of the rubble of Stuttgart after its destruction during World War Two.
Forty percent of Stuttgart was levelled by the onslaught of 53 bombings during the war, and many prestigious buildings, statues and landmarks were blown to pieces.
Fortunately, many of these relics were saved and placed upon Birkenkopf.
An eerie presence remains upon Birkenkopf, as you wander past ancient door frames, statuette faces and building blocks, as if you are treading upon the ruins of a disaster zone.
Related Articles by Clyde Mendes